• Sam Spreadborough travelled from America to teach the boys from the Kimberley. (RANGI HIRINI)Source: RANGI HIRINI
Young aspiring riders saddle up for rodeo school in Western Australia.
Rangi Hirini

29 Oct 2018 - 5:14 PM  UPDATED 29 Oct 2018 - 5:28 PM

One of the country's largest rodeos drew a crowd from across the Kimberley, with young riders travelling large distances to attend a lucrative training session. 

The draw card was Kalkadoon man Sam Spreadborough, who now calls Texas home after moving to the United States to pursue professional rodeo riding in the early 2000s. He retired in March 2017.

Mr Spreadborough told NITV News it was an incredibly rewarding experience to come back to Australia and impart some of what he knows.

“It’s just great to do this for the kids… We’ve been trying to teach some basics, they’ve come a long way already just in the couple of hours that we’ve spent with them.”

Mr Spreadborough won Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rookie of the Year in 2003 and competed twice at the rodeo world championship, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, in 2010 and 2011. 

He is the only Australian to make the finals and the only Australian to qualify in the World Standings top 15.

When competing Mr Spreadborough would wear black and orange feathers in his hat and an Aboriginal flag badge on his vest. 

“I’m just proud of what I am, it’s part of my heritage, and I decided to wear it on my vest to let people know who I am,” Mr Spreadborough said.

The group of young men in the rodeo school came from all parts of the Kimberley region, including Kununurra, Halls Creek and Derby.

Their two-day trip down to Boyup Brook for the Harvey Dickson Rodeo has been months in the making.

“It’s pretty good to get an opportunity to come down here and perform in a big place where there’s a lot of people… and do some riding down here,” one of the group, Emilio Nulgit, told NITV News.

Organiser Mark 'Cowboy' Kestal says the rodeo school has been 13 years in the making.

“For us to get those boys to come down south and to participate in this, is a big big effort and we really appreciate what they’ve gone to get here,” Mr Kestal said.

“Not everyone wants to get into the mining industry, so we want to get them guys that are interested to be able to get back on the stations and become stockmen, head stockmen ... the list is endless."

Mr Kestal, who has been apart of the Boyup Brook rodeo for over a decade, says the sport is open to everyone.

“There’s no discrimination at all in rodeo, and if you want to get down to it, the Indigenous boys are famous and are well known in the history for our Australian stockmen on the stations,” he said.

"We believe that there’s no limits on this life except the ones we put on ourselves.”

Banjima Elder Brian Tucker has been coordinating with the group and organisers to make the trip happen.

“I wanted to give these boys an opportunity to get more experience and follow their dreams,” Mr Tucker said.

Mr Tucker is the director of recruitment company Karlayura Group, which was a sponsor for the Harvey Dickson Rodeo. 

If we look back to where we come from and who our parents were and who our grandparents were, they were horsemen, and being a good horseman back then you had to have skills and skill set that doing anything that the horse can do to get cattle,” he said.

Organisers are hoping to make the rodeo school a part of their annual event.

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